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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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Washington 30, Us 20, Starbucks 18, New York 17, Afghanistan 13, Chuck Hagel 10, Richard Wolffe 9, John Boehner 8, U.s. 8, Citi 8, New York City 7, Chuck Todd 7, Iraq 6, Usaa 6, Pentagon 5, Clinton 5, Newt Gingrich 5, Boston 5, Susan Rice 5, Mitch Mcconnell 5,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    December 27, 2012
    3:00 - 5:59am PST  

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♪ at the top of the show, we asked why are you awake. and ace intern john tower has your answers. what youmorning. david writes, on vacation for my 4:30 a.m. news anchor job in lansing, michigan. your gig looks pretty good. you're one lucky guy.
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>> i am really a lucky guy. good luck in lansing. change your watch. you can do the 5:30 up there. just flip your watch and you could be doing the same thing. what else? >> harold who writes, i'm trying to figure out how to assemble my kids' new toys. barnicle, what gifts did you give? >> i give a gift that you don't have to assemble to everyone in my family. i give myself. that's it. that's all you get. all right? and that is all you get right now. >> boo! >> this is harsh. this is harsh. all right. "morning joe" starts right now. make no mistake about it, if we go over it, god forbid, and i still don't think we have to, the american people are going to blame the republican party, and they'll come right back and pass something. so i don't think the middle class is at risk. because if we go over the cliff, our republican colleagues are going to come back and say uh-oh and then pass the bill we passed in the senate already. >> i think $250,000 is too low a
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threshold. a lot of working people who are couples would exceed that, and i don't think we need that kind of shock to the system. however, i've talked to some of my democratic colleagues, and they are saying maybe in the $400,000 or $500,000 category, we could set a benchmark. i do think it is essential that we start talking about what amount can be passed on a bipartisan basis because, you know, i'm one who believes you shouldn't tax anyone right now. i would have supported plan "b." >> you know, that was senator kay bailey hutchison of texas. and i would not be surprised if she's been to a starbucks in the washington area this morning. because at starbucks, in the washington, d.c., area at each of the starbucks locations, they write on the cups, "come together." it's sort of an impetus to maybe get these bozos in the house and the senate to come together in the fiscal cliff. we're going to be talking about the starbucks effort a little
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later in the show. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. >> good morning. >> good morning. it's thursday, december 27th. i'm mike barnicle in for joe, mika and willie. joining the table, we have political editor and white house correspondent for the huffington post, sam stein. >> hi. >> applause for sam. "fortune's" assistant managing editor, leigh gallagher. and the president of the council on foreign relations, author of "foreign policy begins at home: the case for putting america's house in order." and in washington, vice president and executive editor of msnbc.com and msnbc political analyst, richard wolffe. a minor round of applause for richard wolffe. >> one hand clapping. >> first of all, can anybody here come up with a synonym -- i don't care what it is -- so we don't have to employ the phrase "fiscal cliff" at all during the day? any ideas? anybody got any -- >> how about deadline? >> how about do your job. how about just do your job time. it is ridiculous.
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a little news, then we'll chatter about this. as if tax hikes and spending cuts weren't enough, there's a new reminder that the nation's debt ceiling is also hanging over the budget talks in washington. in a letter to congress yesterday, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned the government would hit its legal borrow i borrowing limit i limit by monday. geithner says the treasury will be forced to take, quote, extraordinary measures to keep paying the bills. he also referenced the impending fiscal cliff, which threatens to derail the economy if a compromise can't be reached by next week on those big unanswered issues. with both sides locked in the standoff, house republicans are calling on senate democrats to act first. democrats aren't budging much on their demands. they want to extend tax cuts and incomes below $250,000, prolong unemployment benefits, and delay those sweeping spending cuts. sam stein. >> yes. >> what happens in -- and it
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appears it will happen -- we go off the fiscal cliff for a few days? >> not much, is my understanding. kwb, over time, it will have much more of an impact, and it's unknown exactly what the market's psyche will do with respect to the government's inability to come together. with respect to the tax hikes, it won't be as bad as the rhetoric is suggesting early on. whether it's enough to actually get people to get back to the negotiating table -- because i agree with you, i think we're going to go over that deadline, that's the big question. what kind of political ramifications it will have. it's not as if you're suddenly going to pay $1,000 in more taxes. you'll have a chunk more in your payroll tax because the payroll tax cuts are expiring. and obviously, there's going to be some cuts in government services because of the sequestration, but it's not all going to take place in the next two days. >> leigh, all of us are aware of the fact that most people at the top of fortune 500 companies
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look at these clowns saying, you know, this is ridiculous. you couldn't run any business from a variety store to whatever the way -- where they try to run the country. is there any immediate impact on the markets next week with their inability to get anything done? >> yes. i mean, i think that's where we're going to see the biggest impact by far. i mean, yes, the payroll tax will take effect. that will be one of the most immediate things we see. but even that, it takes two weeks to adjust your paychecks. you know, we'll spend most of the time with the tax cuts, repairing, restoring, trying to solve that with some triage. the market doesn't care about any of that stuff. the market response is going to be psychological. it's going to be dramatic. it's going to be huge because there's been all this pent-up -- the other thing is the market was expecting a deal for a very long time. the market was pricing in a deal. how could we not reach this? how would that even happen? the market wasn't even entertaining the thought. >> have they not watched? >> no, it was a while ago. >> don't they have newspapers down there?
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>> you would think. and then last week that started to change. and it's been, you know, if you look at the charts, it's been a freefall since. i don't want to be overly alarmist here, but look what happened during the debt ceiling last year. it was explosive. it was really terrible. >> that's the bigger news, right? not the fiscal cliff but the fact that tim geithner announced that the debt ceiling will be hit on december 31st, that he has extraordinary measures to take to delay it a little bit, but we're now in a serious situation. the fiscal cliff was a semi-serious situation. this is a very serious situation. >> what you've got, these two things coming together, the cliff and the debt ceiling, you'll have market reactions that reinforces the sense of unpredictability. if you're an investor, if you're running a business, what you want to know is what the playing field is. you want to know what the rules are. nobody knows anything. it means basically things begin to come to a halt. internationally, it raises all sorts of questions about our competence, our seriousness, our reputation. and these are people who are investing here, who are providing us also with the means
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to float the deficit. these are the people providing a lot of our financing. well, at some point if this goes on long enough, they begin to think, hold it. >> who's writing a lot of our financing? >> mainly foreign governments as well as markets. holding on to treasuries and the rest. so the question, then, at some point do they go, hold it. if these guys aren't serious, why am i depending upon them so much? and the scariest single scenario is ultimately people start saying before i continue to float the united states, i want to get a slightly higher return to take -- in order to -- because of this risk. because of this uncertainty. that is the day the spiral begins because that's the day mr. bernanke and his colleagues have to think about raising rates in order to attract the necessary financing. we don't want to get there. and what's so scary about this twofer of the cliff and the debt ceiling over the next two months, basically till the end of february, is for the rest of the world looking at us, we essentially have -- it's not so much next week. i actually think we have about two months to get -- if not to
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solve everything, at least to get enough of our ducks lined up that we persuade the rest of the world, that we continue to be at least borderline serious. >> richard wolffe, talking about borderline serious, tim geithner's letter indicating, you know, that we've got to raise the debt ceiling, won't be able to pay our bills, the government -- are there any options to not paying our bills? can the government do what i do, just not answer the phone when i don't pay the bills? i mean, what goes on here? what goes on? >> yeah. well, they can actually find out where the u.s. government is hiding. so that's not -- they can't all be in dick cheney's secret location. they can shut pieces of it down, but it's not really sustainable, obviously. it will increase the pressure in the sense of crisis. that's going to lead to more turmoil in the markets. so it's not a reassuring thing for your creditors if you either hide or you're shuffling money around. but it does apply increased pressure in washington. you know, this is where the
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white house wanted the negotiations in a way. i'm not saying that you can cook up a debt crisis or anyone would want to, but the president and his negotiators wanted both of these things to be done together, not to have tax cuts and all the horse trading around that now. and then in a few months' time have to go through the whole thing but on less favorable ground for the white house at least than talk about the debt ceiling. it's much better that it's one negotiation, it's one round of massive uncertainty if there's anything good that comes out of that, but it certainly puts that sharp deadline into focus. and i think you're probably, at least maybe in the president's head, looking at a deadline at inauguration. in joe biden's language, will the fever break by the time the president is sworn in again for his second term? because if it doesn't, then whatever you see in the first week of trading now is going to be nothing, nothing compared to how global markets will react come the end of january. >> there's obviously a new
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congress coming in. does the composition in the new congress, can anybody figure out what happens there? >> well, i mean, numerically, it's more favorable to democrats, right? the house will still be controlled by john boehner. so you still have that divided congress. but the calculation is not, you know, a numerical one. it's the idea that if they go home -- first if they go home for christmas break, they'd feel the pressure, but it doesn't seem like that's coming. if they go over the cliff and they do mess with the debt ceiling, that people are going to get freaked and spooked because you'll start hearing stories about social security recipients facing the prospect of smaller checks from the government, unemployment insurance completely dried up, payroll tax cut is a big thing. your paycheck is going to start showing more is taken out of it for the payroll tax. and that will, in turn, cause the type of pressure on the new income in congress to get something done. it's interesting that we led off with kay bailey hutchison who's retiring, doesn't have a lot of the political pressures that
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others have. she said let's make a deal. her prediction, probably the right one, they're going to go home. suddenly once it passes, obama wim introduce his own package which will look like what he's proposing now, and they'll have nothing to do but accept it or else they'll get blamed for everything. >> can you recall a time in your life when you were aware of politics that encompasses, what, a couple of years, at least? a comparable level of incompetence in washington? >> the only thing i can think of is the last four years. i actually spent some of the time over the holidays for my sins reading bob woodward's book. and my overall reaction to all this is groundhog day. it's the same exact issues, some of the same players, same cautions of spending, entitlements, taxation, debt celling, what have you, nothing has changed. so what's so depressing to me is we've had four years or longer to wrestle with these issues. there's virtually been no signs on progress. here we are now with two more self-imposed ceilings. and increasingly, we've got a
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u.s. government that sticks a gun to its head. sorry to use gun metaphors, but basically sticks a gun to its head and says we don't trust ourselves to legislate like normal people. even presidential commissions don't work anymore. what we've got to do is give ourselves artificial deadlines and bring ourselves to the precipice, create all sorts of uncertainty, create manufactured crises because without that pressure, we can no longer be counted on to do anything that remotely redecember bem zesembl thing. >> they're going to say okay, we can't do this all right now. let's set up a process for tax reform that will resolve itself in 2013. let's set up a process for entitlement reform in 2013 and create another trigger, sequestration, kicking the can down the road. but i would say one thing. what's interesting for me here is that republicans, by and large, have won this argument. they are getting a lot of spending cuts. they will get, if they want to accept it, some social security reform in terms of decreased benefits paid. it is definitely a conservative
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resolution to this deal. the problem is they can't accept yes. and they want more. and they won't accept those tax hikes because of it. you know, but if you went three years ago, if you look back three years ago, the debate wasn't whether we should do tax hikes and entitlement reforms. it was whether we should cut now or spend now. and we're not even talking about spending now. >> the stimulus part is missing. >> yeah. >> but the question -- the republicans, though, have given a bit on the revenue side. >> sure. >> that was theologically out of it. that's now into the mix. if you want to be an optimist, you say more things are on the table than were before the election. the pessimist would say yeah, but there still isn't the substance of an agreement. >> the mechanics, i mean, what we have -- on the obama side, you have an election that pretty much, you know, they took as a mandate, if you will, where, you know, the very issue of taxes was sort of legislative, and the americans basically said they agreed with the president, saying that taxes need to rise on the wealthy. and then you have the right wing of the republican party who won
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also by wide margins in many deeply conservative districts. and they think they have a mandate. so in a way, it's like the two mandates are canceling each other out. they each think that they are -- and that is why we're frozen. i don't know if it's been that way -- i don't know if the mechanics have been such that it has been so polarized to the point where it's been paralyzing. >> where they feel like they've each won. >> it doesn't baffle me, it sort of angers me is that the conservative republicans who won by overwhelming margins in their districts, the president's vote in state after state in the electoral college, it used to be in politics that there was more respect for the voter and the voter speaking on election day than there seems to be today. and one of the big things voters seem to speak out on was this idea of raise taxes on people making $1 million or more. and we're at a standstill on that. richard wolffe, i'm just -- your sense of things in the house, especially in the house, the
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lack of respect for the voter, this idea that we have this continuing stalemate over just a common-sense issue, if you're making 1 million bucks or more, whatever number they want to put it at, $750,000, you're going to have to pay a little more and nobody's going to do anything about it in washington? it's mind boggling. >> i actually think it's bigger than that. what we used to have -- and not so long ago, actually -- was a sense of natural purpose, that you wouldn't actually play politics with something like risking another recession. you wouldn't play politics with risking the credit rating of the united states treasury. and there's a loss of sense of seriousness. i also think what we're really seeing here is just a deep, deep struggle for the identity of the republican party. and whether or not they are ready for government. i mean, there's something very fundamental that if the house speaker elected by a majority of his own party cannot enact fundamental legislation that he is proposing, they're just not ready to have the power that the
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voters have given them. that's the credibility question that republicans face right now. yes, they all suffer from it. the president suffers, too. but more importantly, they're not thinking about the broader economy. they're not thinking about even the next two or three months in the markets because there is this deep, deep ideological struggle. until that is resolved, until republicans decide whether or not they're ready for national government, this isn't a district-by-district thing. tax rates are not resolved on a district-by-district basis. and every member of the house, even if they think they've got a big mandate, they all know that. this isn't about saying i get a mandate, and i set the tax rates. it's about saying i think the republican party should go this way, and the house speaker thinks it should go another way. and when you're in that situation, the president cannot resolve it on his own. >> of course, part of the problem is that no matter will you're a democrat or republican, once you get elected, you begin
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running for re-election immediately. >> yes. and not only that, in the senate, the key thing here is that mitch mcconnell needs to be a player because john boehner has kept tized him to do this, he's up for re-election in 2014. he has to consider that prospect as well. >> depply doug. coming up, kurt andersen will be here. also, "new york times" columnist frank bruni and nbc white house correspondent, chuck todd. also, the lives they live. this sunday's "new york times" magazine profiles the memorable people and in some cases places that we lost in 2012. john kelly joins us for a look back at those who passed. up next, mike allen with the "politico playbook." first is dylan drier tracking the winter storm. >> this storm is a big one. it affected the whole eastern third of the country for several days right through that all-important holiday for travelers. that certainly did wreak havoc on the airports. we ended up with more than a foot of snow in some areas,
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especially back into ohio, pennsylvania and new york state. granby, connecticut, picked up six inches before it changed over to rain. we saw winds gusting up near hurricane-force strength in brick, new jersey. 74-mile-per-hour wind gusts. most of the eastern seaboard did see gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour. this storm is still lingering across northern new england where winter storm warnings and advisories are still in effect. heaviest of the snow, though, is where they want it, up across the ski resorts through northern new york, up into vermont, new hampshire and eventually maine as well. it's the extreme northern tier of the country that could end up with more than two feet of snow. elsewhere in new england, we'll get another foot of snow in central and northern new england. rain will wind down later today and then tomorrow as we head into friday, it looks like things will finally improve. a little chilly, but the sunshine is back. temperatures tomorrow should top out in the mid to upper 30s. so improvements, they're slow to get here, but they'll still get here eventually.
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let's take a look at the "morning papers." "houston chronicle," former president george h.w. bush is in the intensive care unit at houston methodist hospital this morning after suffering from what doctors call a stubborn fever. the former president had been hospitalized since thanksgiving for bronchitis and was expected to be released before christmas, but a series of setbacks sent him to the icu on sunday. a bush family spokesman says the former president remains alert and is surrounded by family. "the washington post." nelson mandela was released from a south african hospital last night after nearly three weeks of treatment for a lung infection. the 94-year-old former president
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is currently recovering in his home in johannesburg, but his doctors have cautioned that he should remain close to medical facilities. "wall street journal." toyota has agreed to a $1.1 billion class action settlement over complaints some of his cars accelerated without warning. owners of 16 million toyota, lexus and scion will be eligible for payments and safety updates depending on the make and model. the recall dating back to 2009 and 2010 tarnished toyota's safety reputation and flattened its u.s. sales, ending its 30-year streak of market share increases. scary stuff. "the st. paul pioneer press." the syrian general responsible for military defections has himself become a defector. the chief of military police went across the border according to insurgents in syria. >> and he'll be played by peter sellers in the movie. >> the rat deserting the sinking ship. that is the rat deserting the
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sinking ship. >> how many -- there have been a number of defections at the top of the syrian government. >> lots to go there. >> but the guy in charge of preventing defections is particularly ironic. >> it is ironic. >> is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end. just keep watching moscow. as the russians pull away from assad and the syrians, that will be an indicator of how long these guys have to last. 20 # 13 will be the end game. we have to know what comes afterward. we'll watch what happens. >> want to do another paper? >> you want me to do it? >> no, go ahead. >> "the cedar rapids gazette." new numbers show a disappointing holiday sales season with retail growth up less than 1% from last year. some analysts are calling it the worst for retailers since the financial crisis. stores across the country are hoping for a sales bounce after christmas and are doing pretty much anything they can to bring shoppers back into stores because that's america.
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finally, there is an outrage in new york state after a local newspaper posted on its website the addresses and names of all people who have handgun permits in westchester and rockland counties. the paper's editor said while they new the database would be controversial, quote, sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the newtown shootings. starbucks, our very own starbucks, is urging washington to come together. this ad running in today's "washington post" and tomorrow's "new york times" highlights starbucks' new initiative, calling on elected officials to unite on the solution to the fiscal cliff. employees in the washington area starbucks will write the message on customers' cups, urging leadership from congress. aol is also joining the effort by sharing the come together message across its network of hyperlocal websites called patch. you know, this is really a terrific thing. it's a lot of extra work for the
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employees in all the starbucks, but it's a terrific thing just to remind people -- not that they need reminding -- that we are represented by incompetence in washington. >> it's true. it's very howard schultz, the ceo, who has used his platform of one of the largest companies in the world to push a message or do what's good for the greater good. a couple years ago during the jobs crisis, if you remember, he did a program where you could donate $5, get a bracelet, and it would go towards a fund to lend to businesses to get jobs going. also gives all of his employees health care benefits and has risk investors for doing that. this is very -- this was very, you know, in line with what starbucks stands for. >> it's also consistent with the tradition. whereby and large over the years, the most international and responsible constituency in the united states when it comes to things like trading with the world and economically interacting with the world has been the business community. they are the most internationally minded of americans, increasingly businesses are doing most of their business overseas. it happens to be where 96% of
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the people of the world live, and they get it. they understand that a country of 300 million people, we've got to be global. so the fact that companies like starbucks would be leading this effort in symbolic ways is totally consistent with this tradition of, if you will, corporate statesman. that in some ways has generated the economic success we've had. >> and it's funny, if you think about the platform of that coffee cup, think about how many billions of those cups are floating around every day. it's sort of like -- it's a pretty powerful positioning. >> dunkin' donuts, what's up? come on, dunkin', bring it. >> sput somethiput something in. >> you know who really brings people together? >> me? >> you try. but the role model for bringing people together? >> you? >> mike allen. he's right now in washington, chief white house correspondent for "politico" here with the "playbook." i was looking at the morning
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"playbook." there's no need to join a newspaper. >> we love newspapers. buy newspapers. >> i know. no one loves newspapers more than i do. there's so much information packed into this thing, each and every day, give us some. come on. >> and i'm going to start every day by saying come together at the top. >> all right. we like that. >> so a top story today, one of the ledges of the fiscal cliff, those automatic spending cuts that almost certainly are going to kick in. we don't see that being part of some last-second deal. hit the defense department. but the pentagon's real problem is not those cuts, but the ones that are going to be coming over the next decade. we talked to military contractors, top officials at the pentagon. they see a long period of downward decline. that after the war in afghanistan, there's going to be a period of austerity. they're calling it -- they have a term around the pentagon, a
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very graphic self-amputation as they cut back over the years. and this was one of the reasons that president obama had, at the top of his short list, the former republican senator, still a republican, chuck hagel of nebraska. he's somebody who's talked about the pentagon as being bloated, had very specific ideas about how to cut it. but mike, sam, the table, we're hearing that that trial balloon has been popped. that senator hagel has a possibility for secretary of defense, has really lost a lot of altitude. and what they discovered was, there's not a natural constituency for him. republicans, as you guys know, have fought with him over the years. he was against the war in iraq. senator mccain especially has had it out for him. democrats don't like some of the anti-gay positions -- rhetoric he's used in the past, some of which he's now apologized for. so republicans see a threefer. they can go against somebody
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they've never liked, hit the president and stick up for the israeli lobby which has been fighting him. it looks like we're on to the possibilities, the current deputy, ashton carter or michelle florinoy. >> there's something upsetting about chuck hagel's reputation slimed up. he's a solid guy, and he's been trashed for the last ten days. doesn't this speak, richard haass, to a problem -- not a problem, but another dilemma for the president of the united states? this is the second nominee that he's had rolled on him? susan rice being the first and now chuck hagel, perhaps? >> first, as you say, chuck hagel's a good man, and i think there's worse things for this country than having a secretary of defense who's a veteran who really knows things and is somewhat reluctant to use military force. i actually like secretaries of defense who are often reluctant to use military force. it ought to be something we only do carefully. if the president, in fact, backs away from chuck hagel, i think it's a loss for this country. and also, it's bad for the
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president, and it also raises questions about the tactics. this whole idea floating trial balloons, essentially you put somebody out there. they're vulnerable. they become a pinata. people whack at them. even if they get through, they're weakened for the experience. i'll be honest with you, i don't understand this political process. if you really want people to get confirmed, from day one when you put them out there, you back them. i don't understand this int interregnum. >> what happens is, exactly what you say, you get incessant drip of opposition research from people who don't like this person. and it ends up becoming the only narrative with respect to their prospective nomination. but there's no other way to really do it, if you think about it. they could have just held on to the chuck hagel name for a little while, kept the secret, and then put it out there. they wanted to test the waters to see what it was like. and they clearly got a lot of blowback. it's a very difficult situation for the president to be in. and it's meant, in many respects, that the congress is now choosing the cabinet members
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for the president, whereas it used to be that it was the other way around. >> richard wolffe, i want you to pay attention to this item i'm about to read off the teleprompter. newt gingrich. he said the republican party right now could not beat hillary clinton in 2016, but we're hearing the beginnings of the efforts to discredit her as a potential candidate. newt gingrich weighing in on hillary clinton. what about that one? >> is this going to come at the end of his second term with a moon colony? you know. newt gingrich coming to hillary clinton's defense, i suppose we shouldn't be surprised. i'm still going to have a head-wrenching moment because wasn't he the guy who had something to do with impeachment? it's nice that he's gone back to his olympian position of musing on the state of politics. he couldn't really predict his own politics in his own primary very well. it's true that people might try and throw rocks at her.
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i just think stepping out of the washington fray means that she doesn't need to deal with this right now. so in terms of her own position, it's not like she's a nominee. she has to deal with congress. she doesn't even -- she managed to dodge the whole situation on benghazi pretty well for herself. you know, the tougher questions are being faced by her old foe, the president right now, who's in this incredibly difficult position. and losing stwo nominees is not a small thing. it does impact the rest of the budget debate, too. >> and what newt gingrich is also saying is that she would be very difficult to beat. that's what you hear around washington is that republicans who used to love the idea of having hillary clinton out there as the latest pinata, they're very worried that that's going to mean three democratic wins in a row. richard's point about how she's -- how the record that she has as secretary of state, they backed off her. secretary clinton's people point out that her polls are as high
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as they've ever been, despite this publicity. there's been no decline in her standing. so republicans who are salivating at the idea of having her for fund-raising and having her because she's great copy, but they also realize that ee electree electric torally, she's a huge threat. >> mike allen, once again, we don't know how to thank you for bringing us together. >> come together. >> yes, thank you very much. why do i have this image in my mind of newt gingrich going from door to door in washington, knocking on doors, saying i'm here, i'd like to talk to you if you put my name in the paper. just go away, please. newt prks go away. >> we just interviewed him last week, so you're insulting me now. >> you know, it's a slow news period. i can understand that. coming up, tim tebow, remember him? he gets angry, lashing out at critics who say he quit on the team after getting passed over for a third string quarterback's job. that's next in sports. hey, look! a shooting star!
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everyone watching and listening lives only in new york or the
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new york area. because we're not going to talk about the national basketball association. and the new york knicks who are facing the suns in phoenix, arizona, last night. all the way across this great country of ours. let's pick it up, 15 seconds left, knicks down by two. j.r. smith knocks down the jumper. one second remaining. smith with a chance to win it. he does it. knicks win thanks to smith's 21-foot fade on a night when both anthony and felton, you're familiar with them, were sidelined with injuries. knicks own the second best record in the east at 21-8. continuing with new york-centric news in the nfl, with the new york jets relationship with tim tebow has deteriorated even further. tebow insisted yesterday that despite reports to the contrary, he did not opt out of running plays in the team's wildcat package during sunday's loss to the chargers. tebow did confirm he had a heated conversation with head coach rex ryan about his role in
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the team. and his unhappiness with being passed over for the starting quarterback's job last sunday. but tebow said that he never refused to be part of the game plan, telling espn, quote, for people to not know the situation and to bash your character and say you're a phony, you're a fake and you're a hypocrite, i think that's what disappointing and frustrating. it was me getting an opportunity to play the position i love, which is quarterback. it wasn't me asking out of anything. coach ryan has been evasive about the matter, saying that only tebow would have played if ryan had chosen to put him in. no kidding. all indications are that tebow will leave the jets at the end of the season. what? tebow done as a jet after this wonderful year he's had? >> it's been such a miraculous year. >> has there been a worse sports move? >> the only question what was worse, bringing him to the jets or bringing him to the jets and not playing him. >> the theory is if they had played him and he would have done well, it would have been rex ryan's job, but it's going to be gone anyway, so who cares?
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>> they won't fire rex. >> why? >> they won't fire him. they'll get rid of sanchez and tebow. you agree with me, don't you, leigh? >> he never had the right wardrobe. off the field. >> who, rex? >> tebow, sorry. >> oh, tebow. >> you threw us. >> i agree with you. >> sorry. coming up next, the "must-read opinion pages." you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ boy ] there i was.
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[ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey! mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. well, even though mika's in iceland, she went to iceland to investigate greening and everything and the polar ice caps melting. she'll be back with a report on that next week. but she did send in some op-eds
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for us to read including "the washington post." the editorial board writes, "ready for diplomacy" about the impending nomination of john kerry. "mr. kerry shares one of mr. obama's greatest weaknesses: an excessive faith in the potential benefits of engagement with rogue regimes and dictators. in particular, mr. kerry's repeated attempts to foster a dialogue with syrian ruler bashar al assad offer a case study of how such diplomacy can go wrong. mr. kerry's dedication to dialogue even with u.s. enemies makes some sense for a secretary of state. but mr. obama's new cabinet could also benefit from the balance provided in the first term by figures such as hillary rodham clinton and robert m. gates who took a more skeptical view of engagement and favored steps such as the surge of troops in afghanistan." richard haass, i mean, i can't square that up with john kerry where john kerry's coming from. >> i can't square up that editorial. the surge in afghanistan seems to me to be one of the more
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ill-advised things the united states has done over the last few years. plus engagement is fine to try. we ought to, for example, try a negotiated approach to iran right now on the nuclear issue. it's often important to check that box. either you get a successful diplomatic outcome or then you move on. but engagement can give you clarity. there's nothing wrong in trying that. you've also just got to know when it's time to move on. and by the way, you want your secretary of state to do. he is the person who ought to be taking the lead in diplomacy. quite honestly, i don't understand that editorial. >> i haven't read that editorial, honestly, but the idea that you'd frown upon a secretary of state who actually has established a dialogue, at whatever level, a dialogue with another head of state rather than just totally ignoring and isolating that head of state, particularly in syria, seems to me kind of odd. >> again, it's okay to reach out. it's okay to have the dialogue. on the other hand, you've always got to look at it in terms of what results. are you paying any price for it? and you've got to know when the
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talk has become a cover for activity you don't like. that's, for example, the problem kofi annan ran into over the last year when he was talking to al asad while he was killing tens of thousands of his own people. you've got to be mindful that not all dialogue, shall we say, are equal. there's nothing wrong with the secretary of state, per se, in wanting to reach out. >> richard wolffe, and again, i haven't read the whole editorial, maybe you have because you're smarter than i am and you have more time on your hands down there. >> thank you. >> it struck me as odd, just the paragraph that i just read. >> you know, naively simplistic. you know, when you look at how they've tried to structure this, it's as if you've got engagement on one side and i guess people who like to go to war on the other. when you think about what the bush administration did, you'd be hard to find a group who are more likely to go to war in that particular part of the region, and yet they engaged with assad heavily, with gadhafi heavily.
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there are phases for diplomacy, even when you're not someone who would favor sort of reaching out with an outstretched arm with perhaps possibly hostile countries. diplomacy, as richard points out, is the purview of the secretary of state. you want them to engage in discussions. you want them, as obama said when he was running for president the first time, you don't talk to your enemies, who are you going to talk to? it's a very limited discussion. so yes, there has to be absolute limits to it. assad is beyond the point of negotiation, but if you don't maintain open channels, you're not doing the job of the secretary of state. >> you know, a microcosm of this debate happened in libya and in benghazi where there's one camp which said why wasn't this compound more heavily fortified, but still a valid opinion which is that part of the job of the ambassador and anyone working in a diplomatic field is to get to know the region and the people around him. and chris stevens liked not having that much security around him, as i understand it.
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he liked being able to mingle with the populous. he didn't want to attract attention of someone surrounded by guards. there's debate not just on this macro level but also on the micro level of how we'll conduct ourselves vis-a-vis stuff like syria but also diplomatically. >> diplomacy's clarifying. if you try, then it fails, it's something that's -- it shows you that these -- it tells you something about the people you're talking with. and then if you have to escalate, you've got a much better argument to your own people, to the congress in our case, to the rest of the world why you are forced to escalate. and again, the iran thing comes to nind. we need to try diplomacy because then we have to face positions about using military force. without first checking the box of diplomacy seems to me dead wrong. >> basic human nature in a way. the first thing you do. >> why wouldn't you talk to someone? >> right. >> even churchill had something to say about that. >> yeah, i'm a big proponent of
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talking rather than shooting. the longer we talk, the better off we are. we've got another one, "wall street journal." "the biggest cliff of all. a few days after the newtown shootings, a familiar american policy-making consensus called for federal gun-control laws. more precisely, they want congress to pass the ban on big, dramatic-looking assault-type weapons that existed from 1994 until the law sun-setted in 2004. government, for the past 80 years, or so, has seen its purpose as mainly to respond to society's failures the moment they occur or whenever they are imagined. adam lanza killed with guns so modern, policy-making logic posits that government must pass a law. whether that law will accomplish its goal is irrelevant. policy-making has become an activity that supports the genetic and financial needs of policymakers and their follower tribes. the community's role, we've lately learned, is to provide revenue. where are we going with that?
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>> i think he started off in a legitimate direction where he talked about how much of the legislation is done with deadlines and during lame-duck sessions. we're responsive as opposed to getting proactive. i get where he's coming from with respect to failures with the assault weapons ban in 1994. if you had a ban prior to 1994, you could hold on to it, but that doesn't excuse the government from trying to curb some of these episodes of mass gun violence. i think there's an obligation as a society for us to try to figure out ways to make these less likely to happen. and whether that's a reintroduction of the assault weapons ban or whether it's something more simple like banning high-capacity magazines, you know, why wouldn't we try to see if that works? i have yet to hear a really good counterargument for abanning high-capacity magazines. >> there isn't one. there isn't one. i think one of the problems with what happens after horrific incidents, as occurred in newtown, is that, you know, the gun-control lobby, for lack of a
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better phrase, to use a gun metaphor, they come at it with a shotgun approach rather than a single-minded scope, let's go after the magazines. let's go after the 30-cartridge clips. let's ban those. no one's interested in taking everyone's handgun away from them. >> i don't understand that argument for two reasons. one is just because something might not be 100% solution doesn't mean it might not help. it's setting up a false hurdle for arguments. the other is part of this deb e debate, the slippery slope, if you do something, it's going to necessarily lead to the end of the world. no. you can do small steps that don't necessarily take away all guns, and you can do small steps that make a difference even if they don't solve the entire problem. what's wrong with that? >> there's nothing wrong with that. coming up, "new york times" columnist frank bruni will be here with his new column on what's really important this holiday season. plus, things get a little awkward in an interview between the obamas and barbara walters. we're going to show you that
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♪ let's stay together when you look at this picture, what do you think? at what point was it taken? >> i think we were campaigning in iowa. >> so why were you hugging her
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so hard in iowa? >> because i love my wife. >> and also, i hadn't seen him in a while. when you're campaigning, we're two ships passing in the night. and the first time i saw him was when i walked on stage to greet him. and that's my honey giving me a hug. >> how do you keep the fire going? >> that's a good question. >> you know, we've been married now 20 years. >> mm-hmm. >> like every marriage, i think, you know, you have your ups and you have your downs. but if you work through the tough times, the respect and love that you feel deepens. >> and then there's a lot of laughter, you know. >> and you're funnier. >> yeah. for the most part. >> everybody thinks he's pretty funny. i'm funnier than people think. >> you are. >> that may be. you may be funnier than people think. >> barbara walters in the "love boat." coming up, nbc news chief
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white house correspondent, chuck todd. also, author and radio host kurt andersen. he's much more than that. keep it here on "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. oh it's clearance time! yeah, our low prices are even lower. we need to teach her how to walk. she is taking up valuable cart space. aren't you, honey? [ male announcer ] it's clearance time! up to 50% off seasonal decor. 50% off toys. apparel $3 to $9. walmart. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18.
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he's sitting in the big boy chair. >> yeah. >> leigh gallagher is still with us, richard haass is still with us. along with richard wolffe in washington. joining us on set, best-selling author, host of the award-winning public radio program "studio 360," kurt andersen. how are you? >> good. happy new year. >> what's on your mind? >> you know, the two pounds i gained during christmas, mainly. what's on my mind? it's always the best of times/worst of times. and you see what the lack of any kind of progress on the fiscal cliff thing happening. on the other hand, i turn the page and i see that apparently the housing market is back. we've had a larger run-up in housing prices the last year off of obviously a terribly low base over the last year of any time in the last seven, eight years. >> front payable, "wall street journal" today. >> it's true. it's true. housing is mounting a turnaround. but this is why the whole cliff mad science so frustrating because by every measure, housing, consumer confidence, auto sales, even.
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i mean, manufacturing across the board, we're really finally gaining steam again. and i think housing is really the icing on the cake as far as that's concerned. >> wasn't housing holding the economy down forever? >> it was the single biggest thing. it was the start of everything, and it was what was holding everything back. and also, we had so much false hope with housing. every couple months there was, you know, prices had bottomed only to fall back again. >> so why is this different than the last few times? >> it's now been how many years. you know, a lot of the excess inventory has been cleared up and mopped up. and home builders have been some of the best performing stocks this year. it's been interesting. >> what would your assessment be if these incompetents in washington ever got out of their own way and came up with a little bargain, a grand bargain, whatever kind of a bargain, if they establish some benchmark bargain, what would happen to the economy? >> well, iny, you know, we would continue what we're doing, which is, you know, gdp projections for the first and second
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quarter, we're talking 2%, 3% next year which is great compared to where we've been. unfettered we were on our way to doing that. they really had an opportunity -- if they got a deal done before the holidays, we would have had a stock market boom, i'm sure, just in response to that. >> do you know what gdp means? >> what does it mean? >> gross domestic product. >> i'm impressed. did you study? >> if you had immigration reform, which, again, would give us some of the manpower we need. if you had a little bit of movement on the trade front, plus essentially the politics got out of the way, i don't think 3% growth is crazy at all. >> but richard wolffe in washington, they're not going to get out of their own way, are they? >> they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, no. you know, there is -- there's something that is both unnecessary, self-inflicted and depressing about where they're at right now. that's not to say they won't do the right thing. clearly, the pressure needs to be increased. the optics are really what needs to change. everyone knows where this ends
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up. it's not going to end in default. so the markets aren't entirely irrational to price this whole situation in a way that says the deal gets done. but we're going to have to inflict more pain on the economy, real pain on the economy and the markets before they get that wake-up call. and that's the wasted moment. that's the missed opportunity. why jeopardize things? we have seen an increase in consumer confidence and a dip as well. that's why retailers are complaining about this holiday season. >> you know, kurt, one of the benefits of this particular two-week period of time is you tend to -- at least i do -- you watch less tv. you read more. your family's around. you've got more time to do things. i mentioned during the commercial break, i was reading a book about the war in the pacific in 1941 and 1942. it gets to a whole lot of things. the idea of the social contract in this country, the idea that people were willing to sacrifice
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almost anything to win that war, to pull together as a country during that war. that seems to have been so -- that sense of the social contract seems to have been so badly frayed over the past i don't know how many years. that the idea that people would not be willing to say yeah, fine, i know i've got to chip in another 75 cents a week or something for the country. that's almost gone. >> well, is it almost gone? every poll says that no, overwhelming majorities of people and well-to-do people say exactly that. so you have these, you know, you have this theater in washington go on about those people who say no, no, no, not even for people making $1 million will i agree to raise taxes a few percent. so, you know, i think this ongoing disconnect between the real commitment to, yeah, okay, i'll give a little more because i can afford it. i think that's there. i don't think it's gone. i mean, you do have -- i mean, there is that larger question,
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the social exact as it existed between world war ii and 1980 was sort of changed without people knowing it over the last 30 years, i think. and suddenly we're waking up and there are no more pensions as there used to be, fixed pensions. this idea that social security is sack rrosanct. >> when i was a teenager. >> i have a question. you're a writer, obviously. and i'm wondering how you see the main characters in this drama which i guess would be president obama and speaker boehner. how would you paint the picture of them if you had to do this -- i guess in your case, how would you write them in a book if you had to write them? >> well, i mean, john boehner is, in a certain kind of comic tragic way the most interesting character because clearly, he's a guy who really does just want to make a deal and get along.
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he is old-school washington. i wouldn't say in the best way but in the -- in a certain hapless sad way. it's the way it works. and he's got these, as he and his, you know, the members -- the same members of his caucus, the 40 or 50 people to his right who just can't cut him a break and won't let him lead even if he wants to lead. >> you know, kurt just used the word that has disappeared more or less, i think, from day-to-day language, the word is "pension." i can remember tip o'neill telling me that the second night that gerald ford assumed the presidency, that gerald and betty ford invited tip and millie o'neill down to the white house for dinner. they were the best of friends in the house, and they remained friendly for years. so the o'neills and the fords,
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president ford, were having dinner. and at one point during the dinner, president ford says to tip o'neill, "tip, do you have any idea of what the bump in pay for this job is going to mean for my pension?" you know, which is sort of a cute story. it sort of tells you who gerry ford was, wonderful guy, but that word, "pension," is gone. it's disappeared. >> that's worrisome because social security is in some doubt. and if pension goes, then, you know, a lot of people are going to be working awfully late into their lives. to build on it, we're not ready for that as a society. one thing we don't have is anything like an educational system that will make it possible for people in their 50s, 60s and even 70s to remain employed because they're not going to have access to the skills they're going to need. yet another problem on the policy list. >> is your point here that public service used to be a job and people treated it as a job as opposed to a vanity project where you can spout off, or is that not your point? >> no, the point was that, you know, gerry ford was part of a
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generation who knew what it meant, you know, you work, your put your time in, there's going to be something there for you at the end of the day. it was guaranteed. you didn't worry about it. and now -- >> and the fact that public employees still have fixed pensions is the thing, i think -- the single thing that distinguishes them from so many private sector places which has added to this mistrust of these too generous public employee pension things that the rest of us who no longer have fixed pensions feel toward the retired civil servants, the retired cop, the retired whomever who gets his or her, you know, generous pension at 50 or 60 and out. >> they still wield power of the pensions, though, because as you'll recall, this is kind of a taj ent, but after what happened in newtown, it was the pension fund that owned freedom group, and they said what are you doing here with this investment, and they sold it. >> yeah, they dropped the investment. >> they dropped it. >> it took them only two or three days. >> part of it, richard wolffe, i would think gets to the
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examination of the congress today. i mean, incumbency has always been there for most members of congress, both the house and the senate, but there was, up until probably, i don't know, arguably the mid-'70s, maybe early '80s, the composition of the congress included a majority of people who had lives other than politics before they went into politics. and that's all changed. >> that has changed. and i think that changes the mindset of trying to do something in washington. you know, that ridiculous "wall street journal" op-ed about gun safety, it really gets to something that is really part of the republican mindset right now, at least for the tea party folks, which is you're not there to do anything. in fact, you're there to obstruct. and that makes it very difficult for the system to work. yes, the founding fathers put in checks and balances that made executive power difficult to enact on its own, but collectively, there was supposed to be some kind of common
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purpose. where you have a significant group of people, the tea party bloc who have come in to say we're not going to let anything happen, compromise is the dirty word, remember that unbelievable interview that john boehner had where he couldn't even say the word "compromise." that's where the system breaks down because you're abusing checks and balances to grind the whole thing to a halt. and that's just not good enough when you need to do things like raising the debt ceiling. whoever is in power, if paul ryan was enacting his budget, we would be raising the debt ceiling right now. and he, too, would have a problem with this group of people. >> you know, there's a front-page piece in "the times" either yesterday -- or maybe today, i'm not sure. i lose track of my days at my age. >> what age is that? >> indicating that the power of the tea party within the house -- >> yeah. >> -- has been diminished somewhat because of the elections. do you agree with that? >> yes, but they still have enough numbers to affect the course of legislation. what happened with john boehner right before they departed where he couldn't get that plan "b"
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vote passed was amazing. to have a rebuke like that of the speaker of your own party over something that was relatively minor in scope. i mean, he could have had the grand deal. he went back and said, i need this for my own political benefit. we need to get rid of this issue that we're holding everything hostage to protect millionaires so that we can negotiate from a better vantage point. please trust me with this. and he went to his caucus with that message, and they rebuked him. that's exceptional to me. and it says, you know, exactly -- >> even though eric cantor was right there probably helping him out? >> but that's the thing is he had eric cantor there, which should have given him the cover. now, you know, at some point john boehner has to make a decision, which is do i let these people dictate what type of legislation we're going to put to this body, or will i get rid of this informal role that anything i let come to a vote has to have the majority of the majority, which means that a majority of republicans have to vote on the bill for it to pass. because that's really the only resolution to this deal is can he -- will he pass a deal that will have a lot of democratic
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support in the house? >> and is, as i look at next week and the fiscal cliff presumably happening, going over it, john boehner is supposed to be re-elected speaker on next thursday. >> on the 3rd, yeah. >> is that going to change everything and he's going to say, to hell with this right-wing tail wagging my dog, i don't need you guys anymore? >> no, because the house isn't the only theater of this. there's the senate, of course. we talked briefly about this earlier, but mitch mcconnell has a senate election in 2014. and if there's been one thing that's been noted over the past year, it's these crazy senate challengers have the chance of knocking off a person in the primary. and i'm assuming that mitch mcconnell knows that. >> this is great. this is great. we love this. tension at the convention of both ends of pennsylvania avenue, the white house, congress. this is terrific stuff. kurt, stay with us, okay? can you. we're begging you, begging you. >> you're adding gravitas to this. we'll also bring in nbc news
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political director, chuck todd, also nbc white house correspo corresponde correspondent. first, dylan dreyer with the forecast. >> we are going to see a good amount of snow across northern new england today. another one to two feet of snow possible. because of that, we do have winter storm warnings once again in effect. and this storm is just continuing to wreak havoc on the airports. that's the problem with the holiday travelers all taking up the flights that were all canceled yesterday, still trying to make good on those today. rain showers across new york city, hartford up into boston, but it is all rain at this point. and the heaviest of the snow is falling where they want it most, up across the ski resorts. they've been lacking in snowfall so far this season. and we should end up with another one to two feet of snow. in southern new hampshire, southern vermont and southern maine, there is still the chance of another three to six inches of snow. temperatures now across the east coast are in the 30s and 40s.
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no wonder why we're seeing just rain at this point. and we will see the rain wind down in new york city by this afternoon. philadelphia is just going to be partly cloudy today with a high of 44. in boston, about 47 degrees. and through the rest of the country, the warm air is located down in florida. and we do have a couple more lighter snow showers trying to fill in across minneapolis and chicago. temperatures today in the 20s and 30s. the west coast actually going to get a break from the heavy rain. still drizzly in seattle, but that's par for the course. we should finally get some relief from the heavy downpours across western oregon and northwestern california and the mountains, too, should only get about one on three inches of snow throughout the day today. that's a check on your forecast. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. new years clutter is no match for someone with big ideas. with a new project in mind, some how-to knowledge to give us an
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joining us now from pensacola, florida, where he's chasing a huge, huge story, nbc
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news chief white house correspondent and political director and host of "the daily rundown," chuck todd. >> reporter: hey, you called me. you called me, buddy. >> thank you for answering the phone, by the way. and at the white house, white house correspondent, peter alexander -- oh, looking very spiffy today with the green scarf. you look handsome. >> reporter: i'll trade truck. >> chuck, on "meet the press," you were talking about the president's -- i don't know whether you call it a dilemma, but what does the impending crash right over the fiscal cliff, as it appears we're going to take that dive, do to this big agenda for his second term that the president is contemplating? >> reporter: i think it totally brings it to a screeching halt, and which is why there is incentive, i think, for the president to do whatever it takes, even if it means maybe going farther than he ever anticipated in trying to get a
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big deal because if he's got to spend all of 2013 dealing with budget impasse after budget impasse, so can't get it done here in this lame duck, then it takes january, he's got to use his inaugural and the state of the union to argue about fiscal and deficit issues and tax issues. then you have the debt ceiling. i mean, if that's how the first three or four months play out, when does immigration get done, mike? i'm still trying to figure that out. when does he get to the gun issue, which they seem intent on trying to do? when does he start dealing with energy? and by the way, let's remember, second terms, domestically, they don't last four years. you've got about a year, maybe a little bit more, before that midterm election, when you can get something done through congress. so if this is -- and by the way, the bitterness that is setting in in the personal relationships between the president and mitch mcconnell, the president and speaker boehner, i think, make it that much worse.
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>> oh, man, peter alexander -- >> buzz kill. >> yeah. that's reality, as chuck todd just described it, it's also very depressing. so let me ask you, within the white house, you've got a group of people who have been with the president for four years, four exhausting years. those jobs are exhausting. is there going to be any turnover, "a," in the white house staff as we approach these new negotiations on the same old problem? and "b," the level of exhaustion, frustration and anger within the white house toward the congress, as chuck todd just alluded to? >> reporter: well, we certainly know that the cabinet is going to change with the announcement just last week of senator john kerry as the next secretary of state. so you're going to see new faces here. behind the scenes a lot of the players do remain the same. and even as we speak to you right now, i'm just getting an e maim fre-mail from a senior administration official. the question is will mcconnell filibuster such a bill and will
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ba boehner allow a vote on it because it will pass if they do. as chuck alluded to, there is a tough, frosty relationship back and forth between the two sides right now, even as the countdown is now approaching 100 hours until the deadline. the president gets back here today, i guess just shy of noon if he arrives on time. 72 degrees he leaves in hawaii. 38 degrees he arrives to here in washington. and believe me, they're going to need to bring some of that sunshine here because there's certainly not a lot of smiles on the faces of the lawmakers as they come back. >> kurt andersen. >> chuck, this is kurt andersen. i've heard you talk how important you think it is to get a deal done in order to establish a level of comity, that's c-o-m-i-t-y. >> reporter: the other comedy is worth talking about, too. >> are you of the mind that there will be a deal sooner rather than later, like by next tuesday, or a grand bargain in
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order to sort of get the debt ceiling and other things out of the way for a while? >> reporter: no, i think they've got to get the large deal. and here's the thing, i still think they could get a large deal, you know, the debt ceiling -- using the debt ceiling as leverage, i think politically, by the way, republicans had totally misreading the landscape on this up with. if they think that's a good idea come february to use the debt ceiling, raising that as leverage, again, i think they really risk watching the business community uniformly come sort of turn against the party in a way that has never happened before. and so i think that they're playing with political fire. forget what the public thinks. they've been losing the pr argument with the public for a while. that hasn't impacted some of their decision-making. but if they use the debt ceiling again to sort of mess around with the economy one more time, i think then you're going to see a turn with the ceo community
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who, a lot of them spent a lot of money and energy and time to support mitt romney, to try to defeat president obama. they didn't happen. but at the end of the day, they'd still rather make money than win a political argument. so i think that the republicans are potentially making a mistake, holding out this idea that somehow that's the time to use this leverage. that said, you know, having that paralysis -- and that's what we're in right now -- we're in the middle of political paralysis where there's distrust on both sides. there's no -- there's no -- and if you're in the republicans, politically, i sort of get where they are, they see no win for them. any compromise they make with this president is a political problem for them in their own base, their own political bases. you know, that's why you're not seeing the great tip o'neill/ronald reagan moment here because there's no way voters would actually reward the compromise, at least on the right. >> hey, chuck, this is sam. first of all, it looks beautiful
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there. secondly, you talked about the bitterness -- >> reporter: it's a little chilly, but i'm not going to dpl complain. >> don't complain. you talked about the bitterness between the white house and congress. i'm wondering to what extent the failed floats of susan rice as secretary of state nominee and now what looks like chuck hagel as secretary of defense nominee, to what extent those have added to that bitterness, and have they had any effect whatsoever on the state of negotiations over the fiscal cliff? >> reporter: i haven't detected any, that that really has been sort of a separate issue, if you will, the whole -- you know, if you look at sort of who is the white house sort of warring with when it comes -- it's a different set of republicans. >> yeah. >> reporter: it was mccain, graham. it's not the same people on the cliff front when it came to susan rice. but i think you're right, on that front, this is a case where i don't understand how -- the white house may have made a mistake by not having a
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second-term transition plan or director. i mean, i think they had somebody that came up with an outline of, okay, this person's leaving. this person's leaving. here you go, mr. president. you've got to make these decisions. but they didn't seem to actually have a strategic plan. of how to roll these nominations out. and i think that's why susan rice took a political hit. it looks like chuck hagel now suddenly -- i mean, when chuck schumer -- how many times did david gregory ask him if he could support chuck hagel's nomination? and schumer was not -- schumer knew exactly what he was doing. let's not pretend, you know, that was a misstatement or anything like that. he was sending a signal to the white house. hey, buddy, pull this thing. don't make us fight for hagel. we're not going to do it. there probably actually was more support to fight for susan rice than i'm detecting when it comes to chuck hagel. but the way i think the fiscal stuff has impacted it, it's taken the white house eye off the ball. they've not managed that situation very well. and i think it's because they're all just so consumed with fiscal
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cliff. >> hey, chuck, do you have -- can we get the camera to pull back? do you have shorts on or sweatpants? >> i can see his breath. it looks cold. >> reporter: peter was giving the weather report in washington. first of all, you can see my breath. >> yeah. >> reporter: if you want to look at that, number one. it's mid-30s. >> i think he's just smoking. >> reporter: my crew here, they're bundled up, okay? they're all in full jackets. i'm not because i thought it would be a little crass, not fair to my friends here, to fish -- i don't want to advertise that it's ridiculously cold in the state of florida in wintertime. it's bad for the tourism business. i was trying to do the state a favor. >> peter alexander -- >> does he get extra pay for this tough duty? >> peter? huh? you can see your breath where you are, too. >> reporter: oh, yeah, you can see mine good. >> chuck todd, peter alexander, thanks very much. coming up, the burdens of war. "new york times" elizabeth mueller on how the fight in
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afghanistan is heating one american community, especially her. keep it right here on "morning joe."
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joining us now from wash washing, "new york times" reporter in her recent titled "with a parent hoff again at
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war," elizabeth looked at how the war in afghanistan is hitting families in ft. campbell, kentucky, especially hard. she wrote, in part, "as president obama considers how quickly to withdraw the remaining 66,000 american troops from afghanistan, the parents of fort campbell students are still going off to war. fort campbell high school, which has about 700 students and is open to any 9th to 12th grader who lives on the 100,000-acre post along the kentucky-tennessee border, is, by definition, physically and psychologically cut off from the world outside the gates. the students readily call their school a bubble, both comforting and claustrophobic because of the dangers their parents face. if you went to off-post schools, you couldn't exactly talk to a teenager because they wouldn't understand what you're going through, said larissa massie, a 17-year-old senior whose father is home but has had two deployments to iraq." elizabeth, one other paragraph -- the whole piece jumped off the page for me, but
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one other paragraph, it's actually a quote, really resonated with me and hopefully people will think about it. and it is this. "i talked to one kid who thought we were out of afghanistan, said britney gosset, a 17-year-old senior, whose step-father, a blackhawk pilot, is scheduled to be in afghanistan until the spring. they thought we were just pea peacekeeping and stuff. i mean, the sense of separation -- >> right. >> -- a lot of people are familiar with the fact that less than 1% of americans are serving in afghanistan and formerly in iraq. but the sense of isolation being apart from the rest of the world has got to be, as you point out in the piece, nearly claustrophobic for a lot of these students. >> well, they go outside to other bases -- to other schools, they go when they have competitions or athletic competitions or meets, and they are stunned when they talk to other students their age because there is a complete lack of
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awareness of the war and what's going on over there. one student went off to college at university of louisville, i believe, and was astonished when she met a student who didn't even know there was a military base in kentucky. and this student lived in kentucky. they have an enormous sense of pride in what their parents do, but they also feel like no one is paying attention, especially now as the war is winding down and people think it's over. >> elisabeth, leigh gallagher here. does it help them that every one of their classmates can relate to what they're going through? >> sure. >> whereas if they were in a mainstream school, they would have people feeling sorry for them or not even knowing how to engage them on it. is that comforting to them, or sometimes do they feel they'd rather escape? did you see a little bit of both sides? >> i saw a little bit of both sides, but most of them said it was very comforting. because it's unspoken, everybody knows -- at this point, actually, there's only about one-third of the parents deployed. in previous years at the height of the iraq war, it was every
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single student almost had a parent deployed. yes, they find it very comforting. but interestingly enough, they don't talk about it that much with each other because it's just an unspoken thing, they all know. and as you just said, they don't want anyone to feel sorry for them. that they hate, you know, because they feel like their parents are special. they're doing something very important for their country. >> elisabeth, richard haass here. one of the questions is how fast we should come out of afghanistan. >> right. >> that we have 66 or so thousand troops yet. we know by 2014 most or all will be gone. what are you hearing about people wanting to accelerate it or pushed back the other way, that this would raise questions about whether the entire effort was worth it or not? what sort of tone are you getting? >> i'm hearing a lot of different things. what you hear from the pentagon is the belief that the white house wants to really accelerate this. whether that's true or not, i don't know, but there's a sense in the military that the white
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house wants out very quickly. and at the same time, while everybody wants the troops out quickly, you know, there is a worry that if you pull out too quickly, you will really endanger those who are left on the ground. one of the students i talked to her father is busy closing down bases now on the eastern border of afghanistan with pakistan. that cannot be especially safe work. so, you know, the president has to make the decision in the next number of weeks, perhaps a month, he needs a new defense secretary, i think, before he makes the final decision. there's a lot of different things in play right now, as you know. >> elisabeth, you know, again, 99% of the people in this country, children in this country, young people in this country, when their parents go off to work, they think that's the normal thing. parents are going off to work, we'll see you tonight at dinnertime. but these people, these young people you spoke to that you wrote about, they live with, in the back of their mind, the
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knowledge that one or another parent, whoever is serving, might die at their jobs. >> right. >> and that blanket that hovers over them on a day-to-day basis, tell me about speaking to them about this reality of their lives. >> well, you know, there was -- i talked to a lot of students whose quotes and names didn't get in the story for lack of space. but i remember talking to one student who said that, you know, you have to understand, just what you just said. she said, you know, we have to live with the fact that when we say good-bye to our parent, the parent goes off to war, that might be for the very last time. and to hear these kind of comments from 17-year-olds was really, you know, astonishing. and they were very calm about it because, frankly, they're very used to it. as i went to fort campbell in part because of the 101st airborne which has been, as you know, one of the most deployed units of this war, iraq and afghanistan. you know, i remember going there
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in 2001 with george bush when i was covering the white house. he was there in november of 2001, sending off the first troops -- first conventional troops to afghanistan. and i was back there this summer and then again just this month. and they're still going off to war. you know, the 101st has deployed and deployed and deployed and deployed. it's just become a way of life for them. >> boy, and some of the kids you spoke to this month when you were back down there, imagine that. they were 4, 5, 6 years of age when you first went there with president bush. >> they don't -- they haven't all lived there at the same time. >> no, i know. >> they move around, but you're right. i asked these kids -- they have known war, like anybody that age, but they've known it up close in a different way. they've known it for most of their lives. >> elisabeth dumiller, thanks very much. you can look at it right now at
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newyorksometi newyorktimes.com. mitt romney's son about his father's failed run and he chose not to run at all. we're going to be right back with more "morning joe." mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003.
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scuba diving the great barrier reef with sharks, or jumping into the market, he goes with people he trusts, which is why he trades with a company that doesn't nickel and dime him with hidden fees. so he can worry about other things, like what the market is doing and being ready, no matter what happens, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense, from td ameritrade. in the -- any news is fit to print category, mitt romney's son, tag, is providing new insight into his father's failed presidential run, admitting his dad was reluctant to run in the first place. in the lengthy campaign review in "the boston globe," the eldest romney son was quoted as saying, in part, "he wanted to be president less than anyone i've met in my life.
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he had no desire to run. if he could have found swums om else to take his place, he would have been ecstatic to step aside. he is a very private person who loves his family deeply and has deep faith in god and he loves his country, but he doesn't love the country. >> mitt romney was horribly miscast as a candidate. we all realize that now. >> i'm biased that he's saying something in the vicinity of truth. >> really? >> you know, of course, he's been running for president for seven years. of course, he's an adult, and he decided he's running for president, but this lack -- this obvious manifest lack of fire in the belly, the fact that he knows in no way is he a natural politician, mitt romney -- >> you're kidding. >> i think there's some -- there's a disinclination, he wanted to be president less than
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anyone i know, i think that tag is getting at something true there, yeah. >> don't you think that no one gets into politics at all unless you kind of -- you need that fix? you have that jones for -- you know? >> correct. >> there's two types of politicians, those who basically love it and it's like putting their fingers in a socket like bill clinton. and there's those who feel it's something you go through, it's the price you've got to pay. >> like barack obama. >> and mitt romney was clearly the second. >> up next and standing right over there behind you, frank bruni. "new york times," is going to join us. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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joining us now, the great frank bruni, "new york times." frank's latest op-ed takes on what people really should be focusing on during this season of resolutions -- revolutions as well -- he wrote in revolution. we are so much more than these wreched vessels that sprint or swagger or lurch or limp around in. some of them sturdy and some of
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them not, some of them objects offardor. especially at this hingeful calendar when we compose a litany of promises that better selves ahead, foolishly defining themselves in what's measurable from the outside instead of within. although my back hurts from a operation -- >> don't focus on those things. >> the root of the piece is, you go to the movies. >> i was thinking about the year in movies and the sessions which is about a guy who as a result of childhood polio is 4 foot 7 and 60 pounds and spends most of his on a gurney during the day. this is a man who if the movie is to be believed, decided he was not going to be defined. the movie focuses in particular on his decision to have sex which he does with a surrogate and this being a pg 13 show, i will leave it at that.
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someone saying i'm more than my body and i'm not going to limit my life experience on what i look like and how i move around. it's a good thing to think about at this time of year when so many people make the resolutions around you. i want to lose weight and have a nip and tuck. everyone is focused on the physical. >> you are not surprised that how everyone is focused on the physical and every billboard and tv commercial. >> if we write a book, a quick guide to lose 30 pounds in three days, number one bestseller list. >> let's do it. >> it's interesting to say it's true. we focus on this stuff in large part because of what we see at the movies. this is not a hollywood movie per se, but it's interesting that the movie industry wants to atone for the tyranny of images and gives us these movies with
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unlikely heroes that are different from cinematic form. i feel like hollywood is saying we have given you these ideals no one can live up to and now we have better morality lessons. >> i know the movie is about. it verged in my mind on being depressed. >> it's anything be depressing. >> we do all of these things that in the age of diminishing faith, we don't have as much faith in ourselves and who we are. i have faith in myself and i'm too fat to have faith in myself. i have faith in myself, but i haven't had my eyes done. whatever. >> it's interesting because you say i don't see any correlation between how people look and how happy they are. >> i see the opposite.
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very often you see the opposite. >> i'm pretty happy and good-looking. >> you are 14 years old. >> this is particular an issue with teenagers and young people. what's the solution there? >> i think part of the solution is to talk to them in different ways. we read there were a bunch of articles written about teen boys being as tir anized by body image as girls because they need muscle and so on. we should talk to them about books and the news and try to push back against a world that gives them this notion that what they look like equals how happy they are. >> there is this tyranny of body image, but on the other hand the average american weighs 20 pounds more than he or she did 20 years ago. the tyranny is not working.
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>> when we talk about the obesity epidemic, we are talking about it doesn't strike equally. those things are not as contradictory. we are talking about and i use the word privileged, but people who are already privileged in certain ways let themselves become obsessed with. >> it's about weight loss and taking obese people. >> the biggest loser? >> exactly. i think it gets to what you are talking about. there is a story line that if you can relate to it's much more powerful. is it doing well in terms of commercially? >> it's done okay. it was made for little enough money it doesn't need to do big box office. it's not doing lincoln and it's not doing silver lining's playbook. it's doing okay. it will get a second wind when the oscar nomination is coming
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outme out. >> it's an interesting comparison. it's also about the spirit and who you are and not about the superficial transient items of existence. >> you were talking about the images and it puts out an interesting thing. these two are out cast. >> ryan gosling. >> you have to search hard for love, but they look pretty good. >> talk breastly about the piece you wrote about your dad. >> i wrote a piece in sunday's paper that was a look at where we have come in america with gay rights and gay marriage and the gay eyes of my dad. he is 77, going on 78. fraternity guy and navy officer. when he learned from my mother who said i should not tell him myself that i was gay made him uncomfortable. he is so comfortable with it now in the biggest way.
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i had never done this interview with him that i had done over the years, hundreds of other americans about what was the trouble you had with this and what's the journey you traveled. i sat down with him a few days before i wrote the column and said can i talk about this? the greatest measure is how far he traveled. this is a guy that put the best face in the world. he was willing to focus entirely on his gay son and relationship with his gay son was so moving to me and said so much about the thoroughness of his journey on this issue. >> a terrific piece. >> still available. "new york times".com. thanks very much. you can read frank's column online. still ahead, the lives they live. this is all new york. the knicks and the "new york times" magazine takes a look at the big names. who passed away in 2012 and had significant impacts on our
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have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind. make no mistake about it. if we go over it and i don't think we have to, the american people are going to blame the republican party and come right back and pass something. i don't think the middle class is at risk. if we go over the cliff, our republican colleagues are going
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to say uh oh, and pass the bill. >> a lot of working people who are couples would exceed that and i don't think we need that shock to the system. however i talked to some of my democratic colleagues and they are saying maybe in the 400 or $500,000 category we could set a benchmark. it is essential that we start talking about what amount can be passed on a bipartisan basis. i'm one who believes you shouldn't tax anyone right now. i would have supported plan b. >> it's 8:00 on the east coast and 5:00 on the west coast as you look live at new york city. huffing ton post's sam stein and msnbc political analyst richard wolf from washington. can anybody here come up with a
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sin him in? we don't have to employ the phrase fiscal cliff at all. any ideas? >> how about a deadline? >> how about do your job? it is ridiculous. if tax hikes and spending cuts were not enough, there is a new reminder that the debt ceilings hanging over in a letter to congress, timothy geithner warned they would hit the legal borrowing limit without the okay to borrow more, they would be forced to take extraordinary measures to keep paying the bills. they reference the impending fiscal cliff if a compromise can't be reached by next year on the big unanswered issues. with both side locked in the issues, democrats are not budging. they want to extend tax cuts and
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incomes below $250,000 for long unemployment benefits and delay the spending cuts. what happens if we go off the fiscal cliff for a few days. >> not much is my understanding. it's much more what the market psyche will do and with respect with the tax hikes and cuts, the hit people take is not as much as the rhetoric suggested early on. what weather it's enough to get back to negotiating things, i agree with you that we will go over the deadline. that's the big question of what kind of political ramifications we will have. you will have a chunk more on the payroll.
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there is a cut because of the sequestration. >> all of us are aware that most people at the top of fortune 500 companies look at these claims saying this is ridiculous. you couldn't run any business the way they try to run the country. is there any immediate impact on the markets next week with their inability to get anything done? >> yes. that's the biggest impact by far. yes, the payroll tax will take effect and that will be one of the most immediate things we see, but it takes two weeks to adjust your paychecks and spend more time repairing and restoring and trying to solve that. the market doesn't care about any of that. it's going to be dramatic and it will be huge. there is all this pent up -- the market is expecting a deal for a long time.
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the market was pricing in a deal. how could we not reach this. the market was not entertaining a thought. this is a while ago. you would think. then this week that started to change. it's been if you look at the charts, it's a free fall. nothing compared to what's to come. look what happened during the debt ceiling last year. it was explosive and terrible. >> tim geithner announced that the debt ceiling will be hit on december 31st. they can delay it and in a serious situation, the fiscal cliff was a semi serious situation. this was a very serious situation. >> what about the two things with the cliff and the debt ceiling. >> it reinforces the unpredictability. if you are an investor, you want to know what the rules are.
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nobody knows anything. it's basically things come to a halt. internationally it raises questions about our competence and seriousness and reputation. these are people providing us also with the means that float the deficit. these are people that are providing finances and this goes on long enough, they begin to think that. >> who? >> the foreign governments as well as markets. people sitting on enormous treasuries. the question then is they go hold it. if these guys are not serious, why am i depending on them so much? the scary scenario is people say before i continue to float the united states, i want to get a higher return in order to give in to this risk and uncertainty. that is the day the spiral begins because mr. bernanke and col colleagues have to think about raising rates and whether to attract the financing. what is scary about this cliff
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and the debt ceiling over the next two months to the end of february is for the rest of the world looking at us, we have about two months if not to solve everything, but to get enough ducks lined up that we continue to be at least border line serious. >> talking about border line serious, tim geithner's letter indicating we won't be able to pay our bills, are there any options and can the government do what i do and not answer the phone? what goes on here? what goes on? >> they find out where the u.s. government is hiding. that can be dictating secret locations. they can shut pieces of it down and it's not sustainable. it will increase the pressure in the sense of crisis. that will lead to more turmoil
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and it's not a reassuring thing if you hide or shuffle money around. it does apply increased pressure in washington and this is where the white house wanted the negotiations in a way. i'm not saying you can cook up a debt crisis or anyone would want to. the president and his negotiators wanted both of these things to be done and not to have tax cuts and all the trading around now. in a few months's time go through the whole thing on less favorable ground for the white house and talk about the debt ceiling. it's much better that it's one negotiation and one round of massive uncertainty. is there anything that comes out of that and if it puts the sharp deadline into focus. at least in the president's head, you look at a deadline of liberation. will favor break by the time the president is sworn in for a
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second time. if it doesn't, whatever you see in the first week of trading now is going to be nothing compared to how global markets will react in january. >> obviously a new congress coming in. does the composition, can anybody figure out what happens there? numerical is my favorite word to democrats. the house will be controlled by john boehner so it is divided. it's the idea that if they go home for christmas break, if they go over the cliff and if they do invest in the debt ceiling, people will get spooked because you hear stories about social security recipients and facing the checks in government. unemployment insurance dried up and payroll tax cuts. the paycheck will show that more is taken out for the tax.
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that will in turn cause the type of pressure on the new income in congress. it's interesting that we have the same with k. bailey hutchinson. what's gotten her is fleethat t will go home and obama will introduce his own package and they have nothing to do but accept it. or they get blamed for everything. >> can you recall a time in your life and your politics, a couple of years at least, a comparable level of incompetence in washington. >> the last four years. i spent some of the time over the holidays for my since reading about this. my overall reaction is groundhog day. it's the same issues. some of the same players and the same questions of spending and entitlements and taxation and debt ceiling. nothing has changed.
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what's depressing to me is we had four years or longer to wrestle with these issues and there is virtually no signs of progress. we have two more self-imposed ceilings. a u.s. government that sticks a gun to its head, but says we don't trust ourselves any more like normal people. even presidential commissions don't work. what we have to do is give ourselves artificial deadlines and bring ourselves to the precipice and create uncertainty and the manufacturing crisis. without that pressure, we can no longer be counted on to do anything that resembles the right thing. >> that's why the resolution is going to be another deadline. we can't do this all right now. let's set up a process for taxes that resolves itself in 2013. let's create another trigger. it's kicking a can down the
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road. what's interesting for me too, republicans won this argument. some social security reform decreased benefits and it is definitely a conservative resolution to this deal. the problem is they can't accept yes and they won't accept the tax hikes because of it. if you went years ago, it wasn't weather we should do tax hikes and entitlement forms, but whether we should cut or spend now. we are not talking about this. >> the question is the republicans given that they are not on the revenue side, that is if you wery this logically out of it. more things are on the table than on the table before the election. the pessimists would say yeah, but there is no substance of an agreement. >> what we have are on the obama side, you have an election that pretty much took a mandate, if
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you will where the very issue of taxes was legislated and the americans said they agreed with the president saying that taxes rise for the wealthy and the right wing and the republican party who won by a wide margin in deeply conservative areas. they have a mandate. they are cancelling each other out. they each think they are -- that is why we are frozen. i don't know if it's been that way. the mechanics have been such that they are polarized to the point where it's paralyzing. >> the thing that baffles me and it sort of angers me is the conservative republicans, the president's vote in state after state in the electoral college. it used to be in politics if it was more respect for the voter and the voter speak today, one of the big things they seem to speak out on was this idea that
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raised taxes on people making $1 million or more. we are at a stand still on that. your sense of things in the house especially. the lack of respect for the voter, this idea that we have this continuing stalemate over this common sense issue. if you are making a million bucks or more or $750,000, you will have to pay more and nobody is going to do anything about it in washington. it's mind boggling. >> it's bigger than that. what we used to have was a sense of national purpose. you wouldn't pay politics with something like risking another recession. you wouldn't pay with risking the credit rating of the u.s. treasury. there is a loss of a sense of seriousness. i also think what we are seeing here is just a deep, deep struggle for the identity of a republican party. whether or not they are ready for government.
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there is something fundamental that if the house speaker elected by the majority of his own party cannot enact fundamental legislation that he is proposing, they are just not ready to have the power that the voters are giving. that's the credibility question that they are giving. they all suffer from it. the president suffers too. more importantly, they are not thinking about the broader economy. they are not thinking about even the next two or three months in the market because there is this deep struggle. until that is resolved and republicans decide whether or not they are ready for national government, this is not a district by district thing. tax rates are not resolved on a district by district basis and every member of the house even if they have a mandate, they all know that. this is not about saying i get this and i accept the tax rates. it's about saying i think the republican party should go this
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way and the house speaker thinks it should go the other way. when you are in that situation, the president cannot resolve it on their own. >> no matter whether you are a democrat or republican, you begin running for reelection immediately. >> not only that, but in the senate, mitch mcconnell needs to be a player. he is up for reelection in 2014. he has to consider that as well. >> coming up next, the lives they lived. remembering the big names who passed away in 2012. the cover story of the special "new york times" magazine. jon kelly takes us through the issues. richard cohen wants to kill his dog. more specifically, he wants to kill the dog of his wife. he wrote about it in a hilarious new book and first here's a check on today's sort of stormy and maybe clearing up later forecast. >> it is pretty stormy in parts,
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but other parts it is trying to clear up. we should see improvements at the airports through new york city. jfk, la guardia and newark. in northern new england we have the storm warnings. it looks like the snow will continue. vermont and new hampshire and picking up in intensity, but from boston to hartford through new york city, it's all rain. it will taper off from south to north. we are looking at two feet of snow across northern vermont and new hampshire and maine. the ski resorts need the snow. boston is 45 degrees and filly is down to 38. we will top out in the mid 40s today. that rain is going to taper off and back across minneapolis and chicago, a couple of light showers and the west coast finally not dealing with torrential rain, we should see at least a break, especially
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tomorrow from seattle into northern california. a much-needed break for that area. you are watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ cellphon irping ] [ buzzing ] bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ] [ buzzing continues ] [ male announcer ] the sprint drive first app. blocks and replies to texts while you drive. we can live without the &. visit sprint.com/drive.
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. the "new york times" magazine published a special issue titled the lives they lived. remembering the people, places
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and concepts that died if 2012. one of the magazines is john kelly. jon, the issue starts off by honoring the victims of the sandy hook elementary school tragedy. this issue of the magazine is devoted to the lives they lived. to a parent, the childhood of a 6 or 7-year-old is rich beyond measure. but the incomprehensible horror and grief is for the milestones unshared. newtown is for the lives unlived and for those who lost loved ones, the sorrow is beyond capacity to know or comprehend. it will take a lifetime to work out. these issues were always popular among readers and difficult to assemble in the choice of who you select. >> it's hard to say and you do what they do. you start with lists and lists.
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you start months and months ago and ironically you make sure it's not a list of all the people that passed away and all the lives that were lived and unlived. we try to go over a list of people who passed away between our lead time and production time and try to match those lives to the writers and artists that work with the magazine and find ways to celebrate these lives. this issue is supposed to be a celebration of life. it's not supposed to be an acknowledgement of death. it's not our version of knowing the oscars. they roll out the montage. we want to extract meaning and give them meaning in whatever form possible. sarah did an incredible job with the victims of sandy hook and took the only comparable incident, they took 300 kids that died and she explains there
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was really no way to recover from that. they canceled the service one year afterwards. the grief was too extraordinary and took 40 years for the vehicles to come together and in 50 years they built to it. there was a big point as meaningful as i heard, it's important to get beyond the numbers in a crisis like this and think about the individual lives that were lost. individual lives unlived. >> you have one life in paradise park, new jersey. that's a death of a regioner and talk about why you put this life lost umbrella that you have here. >> that's a good question. >> it was a small isthmus in the sandy hook bay. there were 53 trailer homes or mobile homes there and they were all wiped out by sandy. all but one. one man living there and the
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interesting thing is that was almost a secret with the 53 families that lived there and they thought they were in on. that is a lost memory. that's a lost habitat and really a lost community. that's a process of figuring that out. if it does come back. what we did for nora efron, some people almost don't know what you could add beyond the "new york times" obituary and the other pieces in new york magazine this summer. for nora efron, we commissioned a tribute to her. she created a collage of that famous meg ryan so lil we in how harry met sally. she did it with all the letters from nora efron's "new york times" obituary.
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it is a pretty incredible thing to the whole and a lot of people. armstrong is another. we wanted to pay our tribute and thought we could get as much meaning as we could. >> it's interesting how often i think you think of nora or i think of nora or a lot of people think of nora during the course of a day. >> completely. >> the two people i know well who died this year was one that was in a way most unexpected and touched me the most. not only did she die at the top of her game, still making great movies and still writing and amusing people and being good to people, but notch us want to die, but she was remembered in the way she would have wanted to be. >> yeah.
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>> there was this universe of people beyond the many humans who knew her personally. they were clearly so moved by her work and the example of this just life well-lived. >> this issue is becoming a thing. how many years have they been doing it? >> too many for me to remember. >> do you get approached by families who really would like to see their loved ones remembered in this way? do they see this as a real -- is it something you get approached by a lot of families? >> we tried and the last page of the magazine is the submissions. we had photos of their loved ones and tributes from family members. >> who do you pick or well-known people too? >> we try to find a balance between famous people and people we feel like there was a narrative explored or something left to be said and people who
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only come to our attention because of their loved ones. it's a mix for sure. >> one of the more poignant and powerful pieces in the magazine, my friend. tell us about him. >> this is a heart breaking story. alex was a 29-year-old who worked on the obama campaign and on his first national campaign. he left to work on the 2004 senate campaign and came back in 08 and was working in july, i think, he suffered cardiac arrhythmia and passed away at his desk. people watching closely remember mitt romney and jim messina tweeting condolences and the obama campaign shut down for the day when alex died. what was meaningful was it's
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unfathomable. he was of the age that swept obama into power. not politically silent, but somewhat motionless and actually came out in full force and helped create this identity and they were as much a part of it that they supported and it just seems profoundly unfair that he didn't make it to see at least the end of the 2012 election cycle. >> talk about the process of how newtown changed the complexion's content of the list. >> we added essentially a second cover to this issue. we use that to acknowledge the victims of newtown. to point out that this is a celebration of life. there is no way to express the horror and the that occurred in
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that tragedy. our decision to acknowledge newtown in a context that we gave it was simply the only meaning we can scribe to at this moment. we have meaning for decades and decades beyond that. this may impact obama's term, we don't know yet. we have to do it in the best way we could at this moment. >> i was in newtown yesterday surveying the scene and trying to see what it was like. i hadn't been there yet. i grew up about 40 minutes away. it's a visual story and almost impossible to report in the written word. the visual is amazing. you have this kwabt town with colonial homes and a very quiet place and now the sidewalks are just filled with these vigils and filled with teddy bears and toys and stuff. people are coming the day after
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christmas from all over the place. rhode island and massachusetts and new york. just to see what happened. there is a thin line between a vigil and paying respects and golfing. let's hope it doesn't get to that tragic place. it's a powerful moving place to go there with my mother and experience all these people coming in to pay respects and note the loss of life. it was touching. >> all right. the lives they lived. that's this sunday's issue of the "new york times" magazine. thanks very much. coming up, new jobless numbers scheduled to be out this morning. the lack luster holiday sales and retailers. we will explain what that all means for the economy. business before the bell with brian sullivan is up next. [ male announcer ] this is amy. amy likes to invest in the market. she also likes to ride her bike. she knows the potential for making or losing money can pop up anytime. that's why she trades with the leader in mobile trading. so she's always ready to take action,
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>> brian sullivan who is across the river with cnbc has new job members when the only number he needs is about his own job numbers. >> that's as it ought to be. >> that's a risk. based on the twitter feedback. i'm going to do my best to play it straight, but you are wrong about one thing. the other number i'm concerned about is my hokey score. it's the scarlet nights tonight.
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that's a big number for me as well. >> a big bowl game. >> you see the cool things we are doing. virginia tech with the ribbon with orange and green. sandy hook elementary was green and has the number 58, the total number of victims in the shootings. also newtown. it's a cool move by my alma mater. we should never forget. let's talk about jobs numbers. 350,000 is the weekly jobless claims numbers, better than expected. the week to week data can be noisy. a lot of it is estimated. here's the good news. the four-week moving average fell to the lowest in a couple of years. we wanted to see the trend go down. week to week is key, but the long-term trend has to shift down and it continues to fall so the four-week moving average, the monthly number if you will continues to drop. that is good news and the futures are higher and
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indicating stocks will go up today. >> speaking of trends, front page "wall street journal" home prices hit a milestone. the tide has changed. shou th how is that going to hit the market? >> that's the greatest in terms of overall confidence. confidence is everything. that's one of the things i have been critical about and talking about the fiscal cliff and saying we are doomed. if you feel like your assets whether stocks or your home are going up in value, you are going to feel more confident about investing and buying bigger ticket items. this is the first year over year national housing price increase since 2006. it has been a long six years. it's not every market. chicago and new york has slight declin declines, but the hardest hit
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sand states. the floridas and nevada and arizona that were decimated during the housing downturn, they posted big gains. this to me is a hugely important number. you feel good about your home, you might feel good about the economy. >> while you feel good about your home and feel better about the overall economy, you are saddled with the clowns in congress being incapable of coming up with can any solution at all temporary or long-term. it's left to companies like starbucks to remind people that we are going to come in one form or another and congress appears not to be able to come together unless we continue bumping along. >> for once, i completely agree with you. that terrifies me to be honest. cnbc has been a rise above campaign. the election is over and put all the partisan rhetoric aside. starbucks in d.c. locations
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having the employees and maybe the employee's choice, not a formal campaign, but they come together on some cups. the message is clear. we have to change it from the outside in. if d.c. is not going to change itself and d.c. is not going to get together and rise above and solve this problem, it's you and me and customers and it's even corporate america needs to put the external pressure on to say listen, guys, we need to get a deal done. you are probably a billionaire by now. you don't want to see taxes go up, nor do i. i argued in part for the president's tax hike. not because i want to pay more. who wants to pay more? we need to get to the bigger problems and put this behind us and move on to solve the bigger problems that we have got in this country and part of negotiation is not getting everything you want.
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it's getting some of what you want and both parties need to recognize that. >> what you didn't get for christmas that you wanted was a tie. what happened there? >> yeah. i will be on way too early and three hours with you guys tomorrow morning. i don't know if i will wear a tie or not. >> don't wear a tie. >> no, no. twist my arm. >> thank you very much. >> coming up next, meredith vieira has a dog named jasper. jasper barks a lot and her husband wants to kill jasper. our conversation with richard the would be dog killer, next. ♪
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>> welcome become to "morning joe."
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joining us now, the best selling author and journalist, richard cohen who is here to talk about his latest book, i want to kill the dog. he writes about his wife, meredith phiera and the family dog, jasper. should meredith be here to defend herself? in part you write my wife delights in telling anyone that richard hates dogs. i do not hate all dogs. i like other people's dogs and i don't hate our dog. i hate the word hate. hate is so imprecise and so overused. i want him to run away and never return. that worked in the lion king. oh, my gosh. who hates the dog? you or meredith? >> meredith loves the dog. she is attached at the hip to the dog. meredith first checks out where
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the dog is. >> this is my husband has the same thing with our dog. i understand. >> what kind of a dog do you have? >> it's a mutt. >> how did you allow such a disruptive force to enter your house? >> have you met meredith? >> yeah. >> the dog or meredith? >> meredith cannot be stopped. she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to this. >> did this occur slowly or was it immediate? >> this dog has a piercing, painful bark that cuts through my body. it peels wallpaper off the wall. submarines in the indian ocean picked it up. it's horrible. it's horrible. between the possessive dog and the fact that i can't stand the
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noise and by the way, when i try to get in bed at night, if meredith is asleep and the dog jumps up on the bed which she is not supposed to do, he goes for my neck. >> he feels it. >> who lives this way? >> let me ask you about the bark. the description of the bark was quite vivid. i can hear the bark without hearing the bark off of your description. if i ask meredith to describe the bark, how would she describe it? >> she would say jasper has barking issues. please. >> you actually say meredith doesn't even seem to hear the dog. >> no. i'm on the ceiling and she is sitting there reading and the dog is barking and is she in denial or deaf?
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what's the deal? >> are other dogs this bad? >> no, no. this dog, we had to move to riverdale for when we had our house renovated. riverdale, the bronx is much more densely populated. i said to her, just so you know, we are going to have problems. meredith lives in her own world. we are not going to have problems. the police came and the neighbors came. there is an apartment building across the street. everybody signed a petition against jasper and meredith got upset and said what are we going to do. i said i'm signing the petition. >> oh, boy. all right. >> let me ask you though, this book, i want to kill the dog, meredith comes home from work and you have been writing the book. when he said to you, what have you been doing today, honey? what did you say?
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i'm writing this book about how i want to kill the dog? >> this is not a major issue in our lives. this is more a joke in the house. a running gag more than anything else. secondly, meredith goated me into writing this book for many, many months. even as i was finishing up the books. she always said because she was tired of my complaining. she thought it would shut me up. when i -- i laughed. the other books took me years. i laughed my way through this and wrote it off the top of my head in three or four months. i am telling you, i was sitting at the computer and laughing. people locked me up. >> my husband and i have a similar relationship. he wuk walks in the door and he's a serious journalist guy. he described it in the newspaper and he's a serious guy. he would be like hi, hello to
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everybody. he sees the dog and my goodness, look who's here! he will get down on his hands and knees and hug him. who wouldn't. look at that dog. he really truly -- i'm like uh-huh. welcome home, honey. >> i'm with you. i don't hate dogs. i just don't understand. >> is there not some small residue of a fiction for this dog? somewhat? >> no, no. >> thank you very much. we appreciate it. i can hear the barking right now. the book is i want to kill the dog. more "morning joe" when we come back. at a dry cleaner,
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>> time for one story out of the morning papers. it's an important one. a lot of talk about it. outrage in new york state after a newspaper posted the addresses and names of all people who have hand gun permits in west chester and rocklin county north of new york city. while they knew it would be
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controversi controversial, sharing as much information is important in the aftermath of the newtown shootings. how did that grab you. >> i see why they did it. i wonder though as a data thing and as a map and graphic, definitely show the dots. i'm not sure what the justification for printing the addresses is. i don't think it's a terrible choice, but i'm not sure journalistically why it's in the public's interest to know where each of these individuals live. >> it's hard to differentiate having a hand gun. >> it shares the purpose how inundated we are. >> i agree. we don't need the addresses to show. >> it is public. so much information that the public. they went and got it and put it in one place. >> what if anything have we learned?
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